The Elderflower is out!

We’re trying some new recipes this year as well as the old favourites…recipes and pictures below from our last few One foraging day courses.

Elderflower and Apple pudding – serves 4

  • 4 Bramley apples???????????????????????????????
  • 2 Elderflower heads
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g butter
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 20g porridge oats
  • Creme fraiche


Peel, core and cut the apples in to medium sized chunks. As soon as they are cut put them in a large pan with a tablespoonful of water and the lemon juice, stir so that the apple comes in contact with the lemon juice and does not go brown. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and stir well. If you have a straining bag or some muslin put the Elderflowers in it and hang this over the side of the pan – you want the bag to be in the watery juice underneath the apples. If you don’t have a muslin bag put the Elderflowers in the pan and remove them at the end of cooking. Cook gently for 20 minutes stirring occasionally and squashing the bag against the side of the pan to let the flavour come out in to the juice (try not to mash the apples). Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary. When ready set aside.

To make the crumble topping pre heat the oven to 190 degrees C, put the flour in to a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and oats and mix well. Grease a baking tin and spread the crumble out on it. Bake for 10 mins then remove from the oven and stir the crumbs around, return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes, then stir again. Do this once more and after 20-25 mins the crumble will be pale golden and ready. Leave to cool completely then store in an airtight container.

Serve the apples warm or cold with crumble and Creme fraiche.

Other Elderflower recipes include Elderflower wine, Elderflower cordial, Elderflower and rose champagne and Elderflower fritters. Click here to explore our Elderflower recipes.

Elderflower and Rose Champagne… the perfect summer drink?

The taste of Elderflower champagne will always remind me of warm summer evenings spent with good friends and good food. Here is a new twist on that old favourite, adding the delicate scent of roses along with a blush pink tint.

Rose petal and Elderflower champagne.  Simple to make and full of the tastes of summer plus it’s ready to drink in 2 weeks!!!  Plan your August party now and get picking.

The recipe is below along with some great photos of last week’s One day foraging courses.

 Rose petal and Elderflower champagneJapanese Rose - Rosa rugosa

  • 8 litres water
  • 8 large Elderflower heads
  • 1 pint of well scented rose petals ( I used the Japanese rose )
  • 4 lemons
  • 4 tbsps white wine vinegar
  • 1.25kg sugar

Boil half the water in a large pan and dissolve the sugar into it. Pour in to a large clean bucket and top up to make 8 litres. Cool until it reaches 40 degrees C, then add the elderflower heads, rose petals, vinegar, the juice of two lemons and two sliced lemons.  Cover with a cloth and leave for two days, stirring twice a day with a sterile spoon.  On day 3 sterilise a muslin cloth or straining bag and a large jug. Strain the champagne in to the jug squeezing the mixture to extract as much liquid as possible.  Pour into screw topped bottles – we use plastic fizzy water bottles.  As the champagne ferments the pressure inside the bottles will build up. In order to prevent explosions we recommend that you check the bottles daily and release a little pressure if the bottles swell.

The champagne will be ready to drink in two weeks.

Elderflower and Rose champagne

Elderflower wine

This is my recipe for Elderflower wine, I have made wine this way for the last 15 years and it always works well.  There are loads of flowers this year, it’s a bumper year!

Elder.  Sambucus nigra Be sure of your identification!!

Elder. Sambucus nigra
Be sure of your identification!!

I have explained the process in detail for any of you that have not made wine before, you can also scale it up and it still works perfectly. Find elder growing in hedgerows, on disused railway lines, on waste ground – it is a tree that can be found in the countryside and in urban places, so is great for everyone.

You will need 2 wine making buckets with a 1 gallon mark on and a lid, 2 x clear gallon demijohns, a large funnel, a jelly bag or sheet of muslin, bungs and airlocks to fit the demijohns, siphon tubing and 6 wine bottles – either with good lids or buy corks and a corking device. You will also need chemical sterilizer available at wine making supplier.

Makes 6 Bottles

  • 1 pint of elderflowers
  • 3 lemons – grated rind and juice (keep the juice in the fridge until day 5)
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 2.5lb sugar
  • 2 campden tablets
  • 1tsp yeast
  • 1tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1tsp tannin
  • 1tsp potassium sorbate (or stabilising tablet)
  • Finings (as per packet instructions)

foraging walk

Day 1. Pick Elderflowers that are fragrant and at their peak, not either in bud or dropping petals. Put them into the wine bucket with the grated rind of the lemons. Boil the water and pour it over the flowers and lemon rind. Cover loosely and leave to cool. When cool add a crushed campden tablet and stir.

Days 2, 3 & 4. Stir twice a day, each day with a sterile spoon (I pour boiling water from the kettle over my plastic spoon and it is fine)

Day 5. Sterilise the mesh bag, plastic spoon and 2nd bucket, then rinse. Strain the liquid through the fine mesh bag into the bucket. Add the lemon juice and sugar and stir until dissolved with the sterile spoon. Then add the yeast, yeast nutrient and tannin, and stir. Cover loosely.

Days 6, 7, 8 & 9, Leave to ferment. Try to keep the wine at about 20 degrees C.

Day 10. Sterilise your demijohn, mesh bag, funnel, bung and airlock and spoon if using. Strain the wine through the mesh bag into the demijohn using the funnel. Fit the bung and airlock. (put boiled water in the airlock) Again keep the temperature as close to 20oC as poss. Leave for approx 15 days until the wine stops fermenting.

Day 25. Sterilise your other demijohn, airlock and bung, and the siphon tubing. Siphon the wine into the clean demijohn leaving the sediment behind. Add 1 crushed campden tablet and 1 tsp Potassium Sorbate to the wine, and swish it around to remove gas. Then add the finings as per the packet instructions (probably 2 tsps) Put a clean airlock and bung on the demijohn and leave it to clear. Put the wine in a place now where it can settle out and won’t get knocked or moved  – you will need to be able to get to it later to siphon it out.

Day 50 – approx. Your wine should be clear as a bell. Now sterilize your bottles and siphon tubing and carefully fill the bottles without disturbing the sediment in the bottom of the demijohn. This is best done by 2 people one filling bottles and one making sure the tube doesn’t pick up sediment. Cork or cap your bottles I sterilise mine by putting them in boiling water for a few minutes

…You can drink it straight away but it improves with keeping.

elderflower med size